Pancho’s mom died when he was a kid, and his dad died in an accident a few months ago. Since then it’s just been Pancho and his older sister Rosa… but all that happens before this story even begins. This story begins with Pancho’s rage. His sister’s body has been found in a motel room, and her death is ruled as having been of natural causes. The police tell Pancho that his sister was 20 years old, and that there was nothing illegal about her being in a motel room. But while Rosa was 20, she had the intelligence of a ten year old, and Pancho knows in his blood that whoever was there with her killed her. Pancho has the beginning of a plan: he is going to find that man, he is going to kill him, and then Pancho is going to go to prison.
First Pancho has to get ready. He needs money, a car, and time to research Rosa’s killer. He is sent to St. Anthony’s orphanage, where he is given the job of taking care of a terminally ill resident named D.Q. D.Q. is also getting ready, and he needs Pancho’s strength, his fire and his determination. D.Q. has hard choices ahead, and while he knows what he wants, he needs a friend to make his final wishes a reality. If Pancho will help D.Q., then D.Q. may be able to help Pancho… in more ways than he knows.
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors is an amazing book. You won’t be disappointed. While some of the subject matter is difficult, it is dealt with without being excessively graphic. Pancho and D.Q. are really wonderful characters, but the side characters, like D.Q.s mom, and The Panda are great too. This story will keep you turning the pages, and it will make you think about Pancho, D.Q. and their situations.